Press release on celebration of the 60th anniversary of Nepal-Australia Diplomatic Relations

Press Release

The Embassy hosted a reception yesterday at the Australian Parliament House in Canberra to mark the 60th year of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Nepal and Australia.

Members of the Parliament, senior officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, heads of diplomatic missions based in Canberra and members of the diplomatic corps, former ambassadors of Australia to Nepal, representatives of the Australian Non-Government Organizations and members of the Nepali diaspora were present in the program.

While delivering his welcome remarks, His Excellency Mr. Mahesh Raj Dahal, Ambassador of Nepal to Australia expressed his deepest condolences and sympathies to the people who have been affected by the recent bushfires in different States of Australia. He appreciated the work done by firefighters, volunteers and community members and conveyed solidarity and support of the Government of Nepal. He stated that shared values and interests provide a sound basis for this trustful and friendly relations between Nepal and Australia. The relation is cemented by the regular visits at different levels from both sides. He also talked about the significant contribution made by the Australian development cooperation in community forestry, education, micro enterprises development, livelihood support and human resources development in Nepal. He thanked the people and the Government of Australia for their continuous support in the development endeavours of Nepal. He also acknowledged the role played by the Nepali diaspora living in Australia for bridging Nepal and Australia and helping in strengthening people to people relations between the two countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Elly Lawson, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who was representing the Foreign Minister, Senator the Hon Maris Payne, talked about the partnership between the two countries and expressed happiness on the growing relations over the years.

In the same way, Ms. Allison Hill from the Fred Hollows Foundation, shared about how the friendship started between Mr. Fred Hollows and Dr. Sanduk Ruit and how they worked in Nepal. She further stated that with the help of the Fred Hollows Foundation, Dr. Ruit established a world-class eye care center in Kathmandu, now called Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, which has shown the world that developing countries can lead way in eye care. She shared her experience of her recent visit to Nepal and thanked the staff of the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology for donating their one-day salary to the bushfire victims in Australia.

On the occasion, Hon Peter Khalil MP, Co-chair of the Australia Nepal Parliamentary Friendship Group announced the reformulation (launching) of the Australia Nepal Parliamentary Friendship Group in new Parliament. The Friendship Group was first formed in the Australian Parliament in 2009, and then Senator Mark Furner was the Chair of that Group, and the same was reformulated in the new Parliament in 2018- the Group was co-chaired by Hon Peter Khalil MP and Hon Ann Sudmalis MP and had privilege of having 36 members from both House of Representatives and Senate. The newly formed Group will be co-chaired by Hon Peter Khali MP and Senator Andrew Bragg.

During the occasion, a short video covering the 60 years of friendship between Nepal and Australia as well as a video message by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali were displayed. Hon Minister conveyed his best wishes on the auspicious occasion of the 60th anniversary and expressed happiness on the friendly and cordial bilateral relations existing between Nepal and Australia.

The diplomatic relations between Nepal and Australia were established on 15 February 1960. Warm and friendly relations have long characterized the bilateral relations, and reciprocal visits, strong bonds created through development cooperation indicate the strength of these relations. Nepal and Australia share similar views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues and both Nepalis and Australians share common values, these values are well manifested in these 60 glorious years of our relations.

11 February 2020
Embassy of Nepal, Canberra